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CAHSS Alumnus Ed Dwight Completes 60-Year Space Journey

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College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

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Ed Dwight

When CAHSS alumnus Ed Dwight (MFA ‘77) launched into space aboard the Blue Origin NS-25 mission last Sunday, he became the oldest person ever to fly in space. In a way, it’s a journey that began for Dwight more than 60 years ago and one he was eager to complete – no matter what he said before the launch.

“I thought I didn't need it in my life, but I lied. I really, really did need it," Dwight said during the Blue Origin livestream. “It was an absolutely fantastic, life-changing experience. Everybody needs to do this.”

In between Sunday’s space flight and his training to become an astronaut, Dwight was a computer systems engineer, a restaurateur and a successful real estate developer. Most notably, he became a renowned sculptor after earning his Master of Fine Arts degree from DU. His bronze sculptures of historic African Americans, including musical greats Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, drew praise for his contribution to the history of jazz as an art form. He also has sculpted several major works which are on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institute.

In 2022 Dwight was honored with the CAHSS Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Ed is one of the most important and prominent artists to graduate from DU and we are deeply proud of his 40 years as a prolific and highly-sought-after sculptor,” said CAHSS Dean Rhonda M. Gonzales. “His unwavering dedication to complete a space journey he began more than 60 years ago is the latest in a long list of remarkable accomplishments.”

Dwight was one of six crewmembers on the space tourism mission, which launched from a Blue Origin site in West Texas. It was the 25th overall mission for the New Shepard reusable rocket-capsule combination and the first crewed mission for the vehicle since August 2022.